News Column

Produce company requests $250K city loan

January 31, 2014

By Heather Rule, Fergus Falls Daily Journal, Minn.

Jan. 31 --It's something that's been 18 months in the making, according to Gordon Hydukovich , Fergus Falls community development director. Vertical Farm Produce LLC is requesting a $250,000 Intermediary Relending Program Loan from the city. The company wants to construct an aeroponic growing facility near Fergus Falls . The loan request is to purchase equipment for the business, according to a memo from Hydukovich. A public hearing is needed to consider approving the loan to Vertical Farms Produce LLC because the loan from the city is more than $100,000 . The Fergus Falls Finance, Personnel and Development Committee Wednesday approved setting the public hearing for 5:30 p.m. Feb. 18 . The IRP Committee and Harold Stanislawski , executive director of the Fergus Falls Economic Improvement Commission , have reviewed loan documents and recommend the $250,000 loan approval to Vertical Farms Produce LLC . There would be a seven-year amortization with an interest rate somewhere between 4 percent to five percent with monthly payments starting after the facility is running. Vertical Farms Produce LLC is a company that grows produce indoors on vertically-stacked, computerized growing trays, using computer-managed artificial light. Its growing system allows for the complete control of natural variables to produce organic lettuces and herbs all year long and in any environment. It's a company that has developed revolutionary technology in horticulture, with a patented system that grows plants in cubic feet versus square feet, producing yields up to 10 times greater per square foot. Anticipated sources of funding include: In first position, Great River Energy Loan B&I with USDA Guaranty at $2,150,000 ; in shared second position, city of Fergus Falls IRP at $250,000 ; in shared second position, West Central Initiative at $300,000 ; in shared second position, EIC Revolving Loan Fund at $100,000 ; and USDA Energy Efficiency Grant of $350,000 . The facility would also be an economic boost, creating 11 new jobs with an average hourly rate of $15 per hour. ___ (c)2014 the Fergus Falls Daily Journal (Fergus Falls, Minn.) Visit the Fergus Falls Daily Journal (Fergus Falls, Minn.) at Distributed by MCT Information Services

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Source: Fergus Falls Daily Journal (MN)

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